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News 2011

Rest in the Arms of Your Mother

The Home of the Mother Youth of Jacksonville, Florida organized a walking pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of La Leche in St. Augustine, as we do every Advent and Lent, the weekend of December 10-11. Since it was the weekend before the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas, we also took as our theme the renewal of devotion to Our Lady in the United States.

The young people – boys and girls between the ages of 18-30 – arrived at Assumption Parish early Saturday morning for Mass – to get the strength we needed for the journey ahead! After Mass, we put on T-shirts we had made bearing the intentions we were walking for: priests, suffering families, fidelity to the Church, the youth, the persecuted Church, those who do not respond to grace, the unborn and their families, holy families, consoling the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and a greater love for Our Lady – to name a few. From there we drove to Ponte Vedra Beach (praying Morning Prayer on the way), a point about 13 miles from the shrine, where we would begin our walk.

We started off with one of the candidates giving a short talk on how to live an H.M. pilgrimage: the two most important characteristics being the spirit of joy and spirit of sacrifice, and how each of us must put the common good above our individual good. We then began the walk in silent prayer for thirty minutes. Afterwards, we filled the time singing and having good conversations, while keeping the spirit of prayer with the Rosary in the morning, the Angelus at noon, and the Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3 P.M. For lunch we stopped at a pavilion alongside the beach to eat and then brought out the guitar for a few songs before we continued walking. As we continued along the highway, we spotted a small cove in the bushes on the roadside and someone had a sudden inspiration… All of us ran over and in a few minutes we became a live Nativity scene! It was a spontaneous little break that gave us a good laugh, and it helped to remind us that our pilgrimage was also a preparation for the coming feast of Christmas.

As we got closer to the shrine, we eventually could see the 200-foot cross on the shrine grounds and this encouraged us because we were almost there! Finally, at 4 P.M., we arrived at the shrine. A small group who had gone ahead awaited us with a huge banner that read: “TIRED? REST HERE IN THE ARMS OF YOUR MOTHER.” We entered the shrine and knelt before the beautiful statue of Our Lady with Baby Jesus, where we prayed 3 Hail Mary’s in thanksgiving to Our Mother for having brought us there. Then, while we sang songs to Her, we were given a very special gift! We were given permission to remove the barrier in front of the image and go behind the altar to give Our Lady a kiss! So we all went up in a line one by one to kiss Her, and afterward we left a bouquet of flowers right beside Her. How happy we were to show our love to Our Mother in this simple way! Thank you, Mom!

After spending some time at the shrine, we walked a short distance away to one of the two houses that our friend Dr. Mary Soha generously lent us for the night, in order to pray Evening Prayer and eat dinner. Later, we met at the other house where Dr. Mary herself gave us a wonderful talk on Our Lady of Guadalupe – the history of Mexico, the events of the apparitions, and many of both the myths and facts about the story and the details on the tilma. She had in her house an exact replica of the tilma, and she explained many of the symbolisms on the image before leaving it on a table for all of us to look at more closely. Her talk helped all of us to love Our Mother more!

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Sister Clare

Hermana Clare

On the Official Guayaquil Archdiocese Radio Station

On «¡Joven, levántate!» on Radio Santiago youth members and sisters gathered around the microphones to speak about Sr. Clare.

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